AHA Today

What We’re Reading: September 25, 2008 Edition

AHA Staff | Sep 25, 2008

National Maritime Museum on FlickrSo much to read online, so little time. We’ve organized this week’s abundance of articles and Internet finds by breaking them up into three categories: Images, Digital History and Online Tools, and More. See images from the National Maritime Museum and from areas torn apart by Hurricane Ike. Learn about the plan to put Holocaust video testimonies online, the Smithsonian’s efforts to digitize its collection, visualization engines, a new German historical encyclopedia wiki, and a tool to find bookstores wherever you go. And finally, read about this weekend’s Museum Day, the restoration of Montpelier, a “cultural initiative” from the UAE, a look at networked history, and newly discovered Winston Churchill transcripts.


Digital History and Online Tools

  • Gift Will Help Put Holocaust Video Testimonies on the Internet
    The Shoah Foundation at the University of Southern California has received a $2 million gift that will allow them to put Holocaust survivor video testimonies online.
  • Smithsonian to put its 137 million-object collection online
    In an effort to connect to make its holdings more accessible to schools, the Smithsonian Institution begins an effort to digitize over 137 million objects.
  • Visualization as an Introduction to Text Mining?
    Mills Kelly has a very useful post about using visualization engines such as Many Eyes to think about and through large quantities of digital text.
  • Docupedia-Zeitgeschichte
    There is a new historical encyclopedia wiki–in German. It does not seem to be online yet, but the blog posting announcing it promises to that it will combine the best of popular interest with scholarly engagement.
  • Bookstore Maps
    For those who still love to browse books the old fashioned way, Publishers Marketplace offers a resource for finding bookstores wherever you are (or going) in the United States.


  • Museum Day 2008
    This Saturday, September 27th is Museum Day, sponsored by the Smithsonian, where you’re invited to enjoy museums around the country for free. See the interactive map for participating museum locations. 
  • Madison’s Manor Reborn
    The Washington Post covers the $24 million restoration of Montpelier, home of James Madison.
  • Kalima Invites Americans to Nominate Literature for Translation into Arabic
    A new “cultural initiative” from the United Arab Emirates is asking Americans to nominate books to be translated into Arabic. 100 books will be selected for translation. Nominators should consider “What literature best captures American dreams, opportunities and challenges? Which books could help build mutual understanding between the United States and the Arab World?”
  • History is written by the readers
    In “History is written by the readers,” Kirsten Reach seems to blur the line between history writing and history linking, arguing that "We are moving past the pretense of a single objective history, and moving into a discourse constructed by historians, teachers, and students. It has been said that to study history is to participate in it. We can add another layer of truth to this: those who study history will simultaneously write history." Agree or disagree, it offers a useful sketch of the way networked history might function.
  • Winston Churchill: Secret conversations reveal views on Stalin and Gandhi
    Andrew Roberts reminds us that sometimes the best archival findings come as a result of a fortunate mixture of serendipity and curiosity in an essay in the Daily Telegraph, which describes the discovery of detailed transcripts from Churchill’s war cabinet meetings. Conversely, the sentencing of Edward Renehan for filching papers from the archives demonstrates the limits on the archival discovery process. Hat tip.

Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, and Robert B. Townsend

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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